ALICE A. I. Foundation News about Chatterbots, Natural Language, Chat Robots and Virtual Human Personalities

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December, 2005

A.L.I.C.E. Tenth Birthday Party - November 25, 2005 Guildford, U.K.

Photos by Ulrike Spierling

ALICE enthusiasts and bot boffins gathered in Guildford, UK at the University of Surrey for the Colloquium on Conversational Systems on November 25th, 2005 in celebration of ALICE’s 10th birthday.

ALICE Birthday Group gathered at Alan Turing Statute at University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.

The birthday colloquium, organized by Lynne Hamill from the University’s Digital World Research Centre and David Hamill from Hamill & Hammill Ltd. (who, along with Crown Industries, Inc., co-sponsored the event), was free and open to the public, and the room was filled to capacity with more than 40 attendees. The colloquium included a keynote speech by Dr. Wallace on the History of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML, and talks by Simon Laven (The Simon Laven Page), Dr. Hugh Loebner (founder of the Loebner Prize), David Hamill (Purpose and Structure of Conversations), Huma Shah (Commercial Application of Chatbots), Vladimir Vasilov (Automated testing tools for chatterbot development), Chris Ward (emotions for chatbots), Robby Garner (1998-1999 Loebner Prize winner) and Rollo Carpenter (2005 Loebner Prize winner).

Robby Garner, Hugh Loebner, and Richard Wallace prepare to cut ALICE's birthday cake

We chose the U.K. venue becuase of the coincidental alignment of ALICE’s birthday with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the U.S. (not many people would come to a conference in the U.S. that day), and the University of Surrey in particular because of its new Alan Turing statue. Among the attendees were Elizabeth Perreau (creator of Shakespearebot), Nicholas H. Tollervey (author of [a href=”http://www.ntoll.org/projects/aiml/”]Program#[/a]), Martin Sondergaard (creator of the Asimov bot), and a group from Fachhochschule Erfurt, University of Applied Sciences (using AIML in a project to create an interactive storytelling system).

A final version of the colloquium program is available online in PDF, along with more photos and powerpoint slides contributed by some of the speakers at [a href=”http://www.dwrc.org.uk/”]http://www.dwrc.org.uk/[/a]

Superbot – The Easy Way to Get Your Own Custom Bot

Have you ever wanted to create your own totally unique custom bot character, as smart as ALICE, but with a completely different personality? Where do you start? It took us over ten years to build up the contents of the ALICE brain, but now you can do it in about 2 weeks. We’ve put together a bot brain with blank templates. You fill in the answers, then you own the bot you create.

The ALICE A. I. Foundation is offering for the first time a new product, Superbot, that helps you create a totally unique custom bot personality for your web site or application. Even if you are not using AIML, the Superbot is an incredibly valuable source of raw data for creating a new bot personality from scratch in any bot programming language!

More information about the Superbot may be found at: http://www.alicebot.org/superbot.html.

Pandorabots Store Opens

Pandorabots.com has opened a new gift shop, just in time for the Holidays. You can purchase a souvenir Pandorabots T-Shirt, Long Sleeve, Haynes Beefy T, emblazoned with the message “Will you be my master?” in seven languages. Just visit the web site Pandorabots.com and click on the “Shop” link to visit the new Pandorabots store!

RebeccaAIML C++ AIML Interpreter

RebeccaAIML is a Windows/Linux Object Oriented C++ chatter bot api/interpreter for AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) from the ALICE project. It includes comprehensive documentation and samples as well as showcases/teaches popular and recent C++ practices.

Rebecca is open source and licensed under the LGPL license. The project resides on Sourceforge at http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net.

RebeccaAIML has been compiled and tested underneath Windows XP as well as Linux Fedora Core 3. However, it should be easily movable to other flavors of Linux or other Unixes easily.

AIML to LABCODE Conversion

AtomicUs, co-owner of Lots-A-Bots, has announced that their company can now convert AIML into their own LABCODE. This can be very exciting for botmasters. Not only can you get the power of AIML, but you also get the variable and mathematical functionality, the translations, and the system calls of RunABot. On top of that you get our unique features of string functions, loops, logic, variable assigning, and easy coding.

Lots-A-Bots is one year old now and going strong, in the attempts to gather the work done in chatbot AI from all bot sites for the benefit of this field. Lots-A-Bots looks forward to working in conjunction with the ALICE foundation community for this purpose.

Art Project Using Chatbots

William Luttrell, an artist working chatbots and AIML, writes, “Each year a group of artists creates an online advent calendar for Halloween, or Gothtober (not all content suitable for children). A friend and I decided to create a project incorporating chatbots. I’d thought you might be interested in stopping by and seeing what we created. Visit http://www.gothtober.com then click on door #26. I’d like to say thank you, and hope you enjoy what we’ve created using the knowledge and tools you’ve made available through your site. I spent a fair amount of time adding to, and tweaking some of the basic aiml sets but I’m still just a beginner and hope to improve my chatbots as I study the logs and learn more about programming aiml. Thanks again for your site and I hope you enjoy our little project.”

Cybora -A Portuguese AIML Set

AIML community member Paul Gonlves has generously created a free Portuguese AIML set. The bot, named Cybora, may be downloaded from the A. I. Foundation web site, along with other free AIML sets, at alicebot.org/downloads.

October. 2005

Pandorabots Standalone Edition SAE 1.01 - Click to see full size image

Pandorabots Announces New Standalone Server

Pandorabots.com has announced announced the release of their Lisp-based AIML server for individual, commercial and academic use. This means, instead of hosting your bot on Pandorabots.com, you can host the bot on your own server with total control over the database, hardware configuration, and data security. A version of the Pandorabots Standalone Edition (SAE 1.0) competed in the Loebner Prize 2005 in New York in September, 2005. One of the four finalists in the contest, this application demonstrated its ability to migrate robustly from the multiple-bot hosting model to the single bot on-site application model. The Pandorabots program was developed by some of the most skilled and experienced Lisp programmers in the world. Highly professional computer scientists with advanced degrees from U.C. Berkeley, Caltech, Stanford, Cambridge and other top schools have contributed to Pandorabots. People who just want to play around a little bit with AIML can use Program D but, Pandorabots SAE 1.0 really meant to be a platform for more professional bot development. Contact Pandorabots.com for more information

iTherapy.com

Are you worn out by your fast-paced lifestyle? Do you sometimes feel alone? It is natural to need a person to talk to, especially one that will focus on helping you. At iTherapy.com, they are always ready to listen and offer valuable advice and coping strategies. Why wait any longer to have someone help you improve your life? Take a step back, breathe, and find a solution using the free service at iTherapy.com.

iTherapy.com uses an Internet chatbot, an ultra-efficient, high volume method of pre-treating people who may need therapy. This chatbot listens to problems, asks questions, offers suggestions and administers tests. Chatbots are always learning more and being improved. Although you won’t be talking to a .real person,. oftentimes your friends can’t ask you the correct questions to determine what’s really on your mind. The chatbot’s artificial intelligence is developed by a team of experts, including a lead therapist familiar with the symptoms of mental health problems.

Jabberywacky wins Loebner Prize 2005

The Loebner Prize contest has always been a superconducting supermagnet for controversy, and this year was no exception. It may be years before the full story comes out, but suffice it to say that the A.I Foundation was honored to have ALICE Silver Edition selected to be among the four finalists. None of the four competing bots was ranked more human than any of the human confederates by any of the judges, and ALICE was ranked fourth place. The award for most human computer and our congratulations go to Rollo Carpenter, creator of Jabberwacky, http://www.jabberwacky.com. http://loebner.net/Prizef/2005_Contest/results.html.

Transcripts from the contest may be found at: http://loebner.net/Prizef/2005_Contest/Transcripts.html.

Contestant Vladimir Veselov shot some great video at the event: The video can be downloaded at: http://www.princetonai.com The file is 28.6 Mb.

The story was big news in Britian, making the BBC and the

Now that Google Groups has now taken over management of usenet groups like comp.ai.nat-lang, it’s easy to follow the flame wars on topics like Results of Loebner Prize 2005

Robot Hypnosis

If you look at the transcripts of the LPC 2005 you may notice that Pandorabots has added a powerful new storytelling feature to AIML. http://loebner.net/Prizef/2005_Contest/Transcripts.html Although our implementation of Ericksonian hypnosis did not work out as well as planned for the contest, the general concept of robot storytelling, discussed on this list before, remains useful.

We call it “narration” and the basic idea is that in addition to the usual stimulus-response cycle, the bot has a chance to append a story fragment (maybe null) to the end of each reply.

The botmaster has a lot of control over when the narration starts and stops, conditional or contextual stories, as well as of course, the content.

The Narration feature has not yet been publicly released. We will make an announcement shortly.

Colloquium Reminder

ALICE Anniversary and Colloquium on Conversation

Digital World Research Centre, University of Surrey

COLLOQUIUM ON CONVERSATIONAL SYSTEMS and celebration of ALICE’s first ten years online

Guildford, UK, 10am-6pm on 25 November 2005

An informal one-day meeting will be held at which invited speakers will give short presentations on aspects of conversational systems and participants will demonstrate their developed and experimental programs.

Conversational systems are intelligent computer interfaces that allow users to interact in plain English, either text or spoken. They represent an advance in human-computer interaction and have wide-ranging potential applications.

The leading open-source conversational system, ALICE, is now ten years old and has won the Loebner Prize three times. Dr Richard Wallace, creator of ALICE and its associated language AIML, will give a presentation and demonstrate the latest developments in this ongoing project.

The organizers have invited participants working in this field to bring working demonstrations, which will be demonstrated on their own hardware, and to take part in discussions of the current state of the art, known problems, and possible future directions.

The meeting is open to all and there will be no charge. However, numbers are limited, so if you wish to attend please contact bots@dwrc.org.uk to reserve a place, describing your interest and any proposed demonstration.

Programme

10am-12.30pm: Presentations (with tea/coffee break) 12.30pm-2pm: Lunch (buy your own) and photo opportunity at the Alan Turing statue 2pm-5pm: Presentations (with tea/coffee break)

Final list of speakers:

For more information and travel accommodation see bbbbbbbb.html

Robitron Heats Up

Robitron was a Yahoo group founded by Loebner Prize winner Robby Garner in 1999. Loebner Prize contestant and organizer David Hammill took over as moderator in 2002. It began as a sort of watering hole for Loebner Prize enthusiasts, contestants, past winners, and organizers. Since then the Robitron mailing list has grown to be a hotbed of natural language enthusiasts and bot hobbysits. Many of them are excommunicated or excluded from mainstream academic life, but the group is a sort of a private club for Loebner Prize and Turing Test enthusiasts, including Hugh Loebner himself. If you want to flame about your ideas for chat bots and the rules of the Turing Test, Robitron is your home.

Shortly after the LPC 2005, Robitron and comp.ai.nat.lang erupted into the typical post-Loebner flames, debating whether the Turing Test was 100 years off, 50 years off, or was already passed for most people. A group of new people joined us and put down all out theories and claimed they could do better. We hope to see them at next year’s contest. But then, many of those people object to the rules of the contest. Interesting reading!

September, 2005

Loebner Prize Contest 2005 Finalists

Philanthropist Hugh Loebner has announced the four finalists for the 2005 Loebner Prize Contest (www.loebner.net/Prizef/loebner-prize.html). Congratulations to the contestants. Here is an exclusive directory to locate all the bots competing on the web:

Contest sponsor Loebner was recently chosen to represent “Lust” for an article appearing in The Johns Hopkins University Magazine on “The Seven Deadly Sins”.

Alicebot Animatronics Project

A. I. Foundation community member and botmaster Monica Peters has developed a novel and inexpensive robotic talking deer head interfaced directly to her AIML chat robot:

http://monicalamb.com/projectanima/alicebotanimatronic.html

For only 99.99 you can buy this unique animated talking deer head from local outlets like Wal-Mart (this is not an endorsement) and connect it to your computer speaker output. Your ALICE Silver Edition will provide the voice output and lip synchronization for the animatronic robot!

A.L.I.C.E. Bot Email Service

A. I. Foundation community member Brian Lindquist has registered the domain alicebot.us for email. The new ALICE Bot service (not affiliated with the A. I. Foundation) is a new way to show your pride for ALICE and help keep the foundation running. We are offering an email account for the ALICE Bot domain. Now you can have YourName@AliceBot.us. This service comes with one gigabyte of storage, anti virus, and spam protection, web access, and POP 3 access. You can choose from five different amounts of what you want to donate for this service. If you would like to try out our new service please visit www.AliceBot.us or email Brian at AliceBot.us. Part of your subscription fee will help support the A. I. Foundation.

Pop Culture and A. I.

Dr. Wallace was interviewed for a recent article appearing on Botworld, concerning Pop Culture and A. I. The author, alienz, discusses the history of fictional robots and their public perception. The full article may be found here:

http://botworld.marzopolis.com/content/view/16/32/

You can also read the full text of Dr. Wallace’s interview with Botworld here:

http://www.alicebot.org/botworld.html

Chatbot Study Seeks Participants

Mark Marino, Ph.D. Candidate, UCR, mmarino-at-WriterResponseTheory.org, is looking to get a sense of who make bots, who use them, and in what ways. The questions will only take a few minutes to answer, but participants can return to participate in ongoing discussions.

If you have used or have built chatbots, or conversational agents, please participate in my online study of these research communities and their priorities.

To participate, go to: http://wrt.ucr.edu/wordpress/chatbot-survey/

The study will begin Aug 8 and continue until October 15.

This is a confidential study. Please see the site for information about privacy and participation.

CLONE3D at SIGGRAPH

Mark Chavez exhibited his unique application of Pandorabots and Haptek avatar technology at the 2005 Siggraph convention in Los Angeles. Mark is an assistant professor at the School of Art Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and founder of CLONE3D.com. In his SIGGRAPH presentation, Mark created a frameset that included three alicebot charachers each represnted by a unique Haptek avatar. The three characters autonomously chat amongst themselves, giving rise to emergent theater.

This is the link: http://www.clone3d.com/c3d/threeFrameset.htm. If you find that you can’t see the characters be sure to check this page for system compatability issues: http://www.haptek.com/support/player/

ALICE 10th Birthday

Have you noticed how many 10th anniversaries have occured in 2005? 1995 was the year of the Netscape IPO, the founding of Yahoo, Amazon and eBay, 2005 also marks the 10th anniversary of the popular open source database MySQL and the PHP and Java languages. For us however the most important tenth birthday on the Internet this year is for the ALICE chat robot:

ALICE enthusiasts and bot boffins will gather in Guildford, UK at the University of Surrey for the Colloquium on Conversational Systems on November 25th, 2005 in celebration of ALICE’s 10th birthday.

The event itself is free and open to the public, but we request contacting the organizers in advance if you plan to attend. Details about the colloquium, the final list of speakers, as well as some useful hotel information, may be found at the official colloqium web site:

http://www.alicebot.org/bbbbbbb.html

August, 2005

ALICE 10th Anniversary Colloquium Finalized

ALICE enthusiasts and bot boffins will gather in Guildford, UK at the University of Surrey for the Colloquium on Conversational Systems on November 25th, 2005 in celebration of ALICE’s 10th birthday.

The event itself is free and open to the public, but we request contacting the organizers in advance if you plan to attend. Details about the colloquium, the final list of speakers, as well as some useful hotel information, may be found at the official colloqium web site:

http://www.alicebot.org/bbbbbbb.html

ALICE Silver Edition Enters Loebner 05

Hugh Loebner reports that he has received seven entries for the 2005 Loebner Prize Contest (www.loebner.net/Prizef/loebner-prize.html). The contestants are:

Dr. Loebner will test their entries, and announce the Final Four within a few weeks. The 2005 Loebner Prize Contest will be held on Sunday, September 18th in New York City.

Shakespeare Bot Project Completed

Shakespearebot the final year project of software engineering degree student Elizabeth Perreau. ShakespeareBot is an online interactive ChatterBot with the capability to hold a real-time human-like conversation with a user. Answering questions about his life and works. The bot can also chat about anything you like, the weather, your job, your favorite food – in fact anything you can think of! You can chat with Shakespearebot at www.shakespearebot.com.

The is a chance to win 25/$50 in amazon vouchers for all people that complete a survey she has written to evaluate the bot. If you start a conversation a link will appear for the survey.

Ms. Perreau would appreciate it if anyone had a spare 5 minutes that you visit ShakespeareBot and fill out the survey

FAQ: Is there an API allowing other programs to talk to a Pandorabot?

Yes! But the answer is buried in some rather hard to find documents, so we’ll try to pull them together for you here. The first place to look is the Pandorabots FAQ, with the rather improbable URL of http://www.pandorabots.com/botmaster/en/…/faq, then scroll down to subsection H.2. Bored already? Want to start coding? Fortunately some nice folks have already done the hard work for you.

Do you want to program an interface in Flash to communicate with Pandorabots? Jamie Durrant has written a very nice tutorial showing exactly how to do this:

http://personal.lionhead.com/jdurrant/flashbot/

How about Perl? Allenz from Marznet has written and documented a Perl script we’ve archived here: perl_pandora.txt.

FAQ: Are there any ALICE and AIML Forums?

There are several “unofficial” forums already in existence, such as AI Nexus Forum (http://knytetrypper.proboards19.com/index.cgi) Botworld (http://botworld.marzopolis.com), or [a href=”http://www.digitalgirl.co.uk/”]Digital Girl[/a] (http://www.digitalgirl.co.uk/).

We also recommend you check out the ALICE and AIML mailing lists here at http://www.alicebot.org/mailing-lists.html. Another good resource for Pandorabots is the Pandorabots General (

For the highest quality news and latest information, please join the ALICE A. I. Foundation at http://www.alicebot.org/join.html. Or, if you are already a member, take a moment to renew your membership. Your generous contribution helps our ongoing effort to promote the development and adoption of free AIML software.

Program N Hosted as ActiveX Object

Program N (AIMLpad) developer Gary Dubuque recently responded to a request for AIMLpad to be hosted as an ActiveX object. He retained the functionality of the AIML engine and some of the functionality of the AIMLpad scripting language in the AIML.OCX implementation. You can make this work in a VB6 program. Just add the OCX to your toolbox, drag it onto the form you want, and code to the single

where

is the name of the OCX on the form. It can be made single threaded, or be be recompiled to be an apartment threaded DLL if you want to try it as a middle tier COM object. Go to www.aimlpad.com to download the ActiveX control. Also, you will need to download the AIMLpad application to build the supporting database that the control runs on from your raw AIML. You can find more information in the AIML developer mailing list archive, specifically about programming with it in Macromedia’s Director.

FlashBot with Human Voice and Lip Synch Runs Program E

Alfredo is a highly-customizable talking bot which you can put on any PHP/MySQL website. He accepts input from the keyboard and responds in a human voice (optionally your own) with perfect lip synchronization. His input patterns and output templates are easily programmed in AIML. Alfredo can be Jessica the saleslady, Ronald the teacher, Marian the site guide, Erwin the troubadour or any other implementation you can think of.

Features

Visit Alfredo at www.thebotfactory.com

Robot-Hosting Wins First Stage Business Competition

Along with Robot-Hosting.com, Tractor-driving robots and foreign language learning software are among the latest crop of bright ideas from the 2005 edition of Spark: The University of Auckland Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The ventures are among 11 qualifiers announced June 30 in Spark’s $40K Challenge, aimed at turning first class ideas into world class businesses. The finalist will be selected in September

Robot-Hosting.com is a producer of software simulated robots. Their robots have artificial intelligence, three dimensional animated models and look human-like. They have emotions and logical reasoning ability. Users can talk with their robots with natural language through typing or by voice, with the robots having human voice and facial expressions to express their emotions. They can act as customer service operators, or teachers to talk about your products or services over the internet or in a kiosk. To date, their robots have been working as museum guides, assistant lecturers for different courses for different Universities and customer service operators for e-commerce web sites.

ChatterBean 0.7.5 Alpha Now Available

Helio Perroni Filho reports that the free Java AIML Chatterbean release 0.7.5 is now available. Changes include:

  • Several more tags implemented, leaving only the transformational elements (person, person2 and gender) to be implemented before ChatterBean provides at least some form of support to the full set of AIML 1.0.1 tags;
  • A new implementation of the id tag (based on Pandorabots’ approach);
  • A new approach to filling matched wildcards, which Helio plans to reveal at a later time.

For more details, head to the ChatterBean homepage:

http://chatterbean.bitoflife.cjb.net/

The Role of Intelligent Agents on Learner Performance Studied

Graduate students George Veletsianos and Theano Yerasimou and Assistant Professor Aaron Doering at the University of Minnesota have created a male and a female conversational agent that assist students with the design and development of their electronic portfolios http://www.deliciouspixels.com. At present they are examining the data collected from two courses and analyzing their findings. A preliminary report is available for download here: http://www.alicebot.org/articles/Learner.pdf.

July, 2005

Supermodel Bot Sells Auto

Quoting from an article in the June 13 issue of Interactive Advertising Age by Kris Oser: “An interactive ad at laddie-title Web site [a href=”http://www.maximonline.com/pickmeup”]maximonline.com/pickmeup[/a] racked 16,000 registrants in a three week period…The ad features a video version of VH1 VJ Rachel Perry…Ms. Perry is actually avatar compiled from 400 video clips, powered by artificial intelligence, explained Adi Sideman, CEO, Oddcast, the New York technology company that developed the avatar. ‘Any line or phrase that is typed in is checked against thousands of keywords and phrases’.”

Click for full size image.

“To a line like, ‘What’s your sign?’ Rachel responds with a grimace and remark: ‘Has that line ever worked?’ To ‘Want to go for a ride?’ she remarks, ‘Can’t you come up with anything better than that?'” The point of the game is to choose a pickup line that Rachel will like, and pass on to the next level in the site.

OIG in WIRED

The controversial Turing Original Imitation Game (as opposed to the Turing Test, first instantiated in the real world Loebner Prize), was organized this year by Cameo Wood and colleagues at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Ma. ALICE Silver Edition was their bot of choice to play the role of the lying man. Their story was covered this month in WIRED, p. 96. The story, The Other Turing Test is online at the wired.com site: http://wired.com/wired/archive/13.07/posts.html?pg=5. Here is another link to the text online: [a href=”http://pasta.cantbedone.org/pages/Q2OVMQ.htm”] http://pasta.cantbedone.org/pages/Q2OVMQ.htm[/a]. Author Clive Thompson, who previously profiled Dr. Wallace for the New York Times Magazine, wrote, “Yet, in terms of Turing success, ALICE had one of her best days ever. Of the 42 people who completed both rounds, 23 never suspected she wasn’t a real woman, or if they did, they didn’t reveal it. Why did the bot do so well? Because, as Wood’s team realized, the Turing test includes a brilliant social hack. By forcing male chatters to pretend to be something they’re not, the men performed awkwardly and gracelessly. kind of like a bot. Both ALICE and the men got tripped up by the question “What size panty hose do you wear?” None knew the sizes are A, B, C, and Q, not S, M. and L.”

Jesus Bot Author Improves ALICE Learning

John Campbell, botmaster of the popular Sylvie bot at http://www.jesus.org.uk/bot, has made significant improvements to the AIML file Badnaswer.aiml, which allows clients to teach the bot new answers to inputs they want answered differently. John noticed that the original AIML script didn’t handle multi-sentence inputs properly, so he rewrote the script and kindly donated it back to the open source AAA ALICE set. He also wrote some excellent documentation, which may be found alongside the Badanswer.aiml file in the AAA table at http://www.alicebot.org/aiml/aaa/.

Buddhabot makes big Public Splash

Buddhabot Crane TV Gran Prix

Apparently Robot Spiritual Leaders are a trend. Interest in Botmaster Ron Ingram’s Buddhabot ( http://www.buddhabots.com) has surged since the Buddhabot’s debut at the Canadian Grand Prix weekend in Montreal on June 12th. During this event, an estimated 2.5 million spectators saw Buddhabot messages displayed on giant TV screens suspended from cranes and buildings. Now commercials like this one http://www.buddhabots.com/library/40-100/Ingram_Institute_v2.mpg are set to begin airing on local cable television channels throughout Canada. (You should watch this MPEG commercial it is really cool). Read Ron’s full press release here: http://www.alicebot.org/press/BuddhaPR.doc.

ALICE at Academic Conference

Huma Shah gave an invited talk on ALICE at 2005 European Computing and Philosophy conference in Vasteran, Sweden. Huma is a graduate student at the University of Westminster who previously published a paper called A. L. I. C. E. – an ACE in Digitaland ( http://triplec.uti.at/files/tripleC4(2)_Shah.pdf) Huma has generously donated the powerpoint slides from her talk to to AI Foundation where they may be viewed here in PDF form: http://www.alicebot.org/articles/Huma.pdf.

FAQ: What is the difference between ALICE and ALICE Silver Edition?

There are several important differences between the free version of ALICE on this website and the subscription bot ALICE Silver Edition:

Jackie and the brain

Another quote: “Jackie was a very simple computer program that simulated half of a human conversation which I wrote in Visual Basic in December of 1994 as an entry for the 1995 Loebner Prize. At her heart was a look up table that was built up by having numerous people interact with her conversationally. The look up table consisted of a stimulus, a response and a number of supplementary indexes to the stimulus. The key to Jackie’s heart, and her uniqueness, were her supplemental indexes.”

Chris McKinstry sent a link to his [a href=”http://www.mindpixel.com/chris/2005/06/jackie-and-brain.html”] blog[/a] first, and Kim Sullivan found the full story at Kuro5hin.

Interactive AI Games

Jonathan Brody notified us that on June 6, 2005 The New York Times ran a story (text archived here) on interactive/AI games which refers to Facade, a text-input NLP simulation ( http://interactivestory.net/). The site links to a paper ( http://interactivestory.net/papers/MateasSternTIDSE04.pdf) which makes considerable reference to AIML in comparison to their own parsing model, which is based on pragmatics rather than semantics. An interesting read, and possibly relevant to advancing AIML. One particularly noteworthy feature is that, in addition to establishing * as a wildcat, they use ? to represent a single-word wildcat.

Although, AIML guru Kim Sullivan pointed out that a single word wildcard can be achieved using 2 AIML patterns:

Nice work, Kim!

Loebner Medals Reunited

Loebner Prize Bronze Medals 2001, 2004, 200

Loebner Prize Bronze Medals 2001, 2004, and 2000

On a personal note, the three ALICE Loebner Prize medals were recently reunited after a long period of storage and separation in different states and countries, owing to the wrecklessness and temporary homelessness of the arch botmaster. A. I. Foundation Board Member David Bacon brought back the last missing medal, and the three are now together in different states of wear. I felt like Clark Kent in the season finale of Smallville (http://www.kryptonsite.com/), when he finally unites the three magic stones inside the cave. What happens next? Wait until next season!

June, 2005

Chatterbox Challenge Bronze Medal

ALICE wins Awards in Chatterbox Challenge

ALICE Silver Edition won two medals and a $250 cash prize in the 2005 Chatterbox Challenge. ALICE won a third place medal in the overall contest, as well as a second place medal in the category of “Best Character/Personality”. Thanks to Wendell Cowart for his excellent design work on the medals and to the sponsors of the Chatterbox Challenge.

The full results of this years’ contest as well year previous years’ results (ALICE won first place in 2004) may be found by visiting Chatterboxchallenge.com and clicking on the History link. The web site also contains information about entering your bot in the 2006 contest, an annual, year-long event.

New AIML Commercial Applications

On May 1, 2005, Trajecto became a full-time employee at TrajectoryLabs.com, a leading developer of PDA and Windows software. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be big news, except for one small detail. Trajecto isn’t actually a person. Rather, it’s a SitePal character with an AIML brain!

Trajecto is part of a growing population of commercial AIML chat robots. You can chat in German with Katter Robbie [a href=”http://www.katerrobbie.de/”]katterrobbie.de[/a]]. One of the most popular AIML bots right now is Mitsuku on the Mousebreaker gamesite [mousebreaker.com]. ESL continues to be largest overall application area. You can chat with Jenny on the Reader’s Digest English2Go site.

Announcing Robot Soul

For those interested in discussing the creation of AIML-using bots in the context of Artificial Intelligence as a cultural meme, AIML community member Dirk Scheuring has put up a blog to develop this theme:

Dirk recently wrote a gem titled, “The rational roots of complete craziness” (Monday, 16 May 2005) from which we quote partially here:

“What do you find when you read the typical log? Here is a list of the Top 20 ‘atomic’ (meaning: fully recognized) client inputs, as received by the well-known ALICE bot, and published by its author, Richard Wallace, in an essay about Zipf’s Law:

8024 YES 5184 NO 2268 OK 2006 WHY 1145 BYE 1101 HOW OLD ARE YOU 946 HI 934 HOW ARE YOU 846 WHAT 840 HELLO 663 GOOD 645 WHY NOT 584 OH 553 REALLY 544 YOU 531 WHAT IS YOUR NAME 525 COOL 516 I DO NOT KNOW 488 F__K YOU 486 THANK YOU

“The numbers represent the input frequency, indicating, for example, that input #1, YES, is about 16 times more likely to occur than input #20, THANK YOU. It’s obvious that, to maintain anything resembling an ‘intelligent’ conversation, a bot would have to respond plausibly at least to the most frequent inputs. It’s also obvious that, to do that, it would have to be able to figure out what YES, WHY, WHAT mean in each case, with reference to (as a minimum) its own last output.”

Pandorabots implements the <id/> tag

Pandorabots has made a small but signficant change to their AIML interpreter by adding the AIML 1.0.1 compliant <id/> tag to their implemented tag set.

The <id/> tag is the same as the !CUSTID! identifier previously exposed only in the Pandorabots HTML text submission form. The <id/> is a unique identifier used to track clients during individual conversations with the bot.

Client: What is your IP? Robot: I don’t know your IP address, but your client ID is 10422179.

<category> <pattern>WHAT IS MY IP <template> I don’t know your IP address, but your client ID is <id/>. </template> </category>

When you test this category in Training, the <id/> will return a blank. You only see a valid customer ID when you publish your bot on a web page.

Progress on AIML Java Interpreters

Helio Perroni Filho reports that release 0.7.0 Alpha of the ChatterBean AIML interpreter is out. This version implements many new tags, and provides a new, customized format for setting predicate defaults and bot predicates. For details, see the ChatterBean page:

http://chatterbean.bitoflife.cjb.net/

Over at aitools.org there is a new release (4.5) of Program D, the classic Java edition of the free open source GNU AIML interpreter. A full description of enhancements to version 4.5 can be viewed at:

http://aitools.org/programd/release-notes.html

libaiml 0.3 C++ AIML Interpreter

libaiml is an AIML interpreter fully written in C++ from scratch. It is designed as a static library. It currently runs on Linux. It is still in development.

Available features:

libaiml: http://omicron.at4x.net/

AIML Lecture Notes

A unit is part of Macquarie University’s undergraduate program in Language Technology, has a beautiful set of AIML lecture notes prepared as part of a class on artificial intelligence. You can find the notes by following the link http://www.comp.mq.edu.au/units/comp248/lecturenotes.html (click on Week 2, AIML–The notes are in PDF). If you look at the other lecture notes you’ll see that the course covers AIML, Prolog and the Semantic Web.

May, 2005

Slashdotted and Wikified

The ALICEBot.org web site was overwhelmed with hits from a Slashdot post and a WikiNEWS story about The World’s First Original Imitation Game, played for the first time ever, at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, MA on Saturday, April 16, 2005. The experiment was organized by Cameo Wood, Melissa Leventhal and Allyson Sgro. Dr. Wallace of the A. I. Foundation was invited to speak after the event and to assist with the chat bot technology.

TheGuessingGame.Net is the home page of the Turing Gender Imitation Game Experiment.

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